Is Ground Turkey Healthier Than Ground Beef?

From burgers to meatloaf to tacos, ground beef has been used in some of the most classic items in the American kitchen. But as with most meat products, there are good alternatives. 

One of the most popular alternatives to ground beef is ground turkey. While ground beef has a slightly stronger flavor than ground turkey, it all comes down to the seasoning (via The Kitchn). Ground turkey, somewhat like tofu or bean curd, tastes like whatever you put it in. So if you're trying to make a rich Bolognese sauce with the requisite ground meat, you might not even be able to tell the difference between the two once the meat is smothered in a rich tomato sauce full of garlic and onion and carrot and celery (via The Food Network). 

Putting flavor aside though, lots of people wonder if they should make the switch from beef to turkey for health reasons. Beef has gotten a bad rap in recent years for being an unhealthy red meat, but is turkey a better option?

How do the health benefits of turkey and beef stack up?

A study carried out by BeefNutrition based on United States Department of Agriculture data revealed that ground turkey has 4 percent less saturated fat than beef (via Spoon University). Surprisingly though, the same amount of ground turkey actually had more calories than ground beef (176 calories in turkey compared to 162 in beef), even though both meat samples were 93 percent lean and 7 percent fat. 

As far as protein goes, there is the exact same amount per serving: 22 grams. So what's the verdict here? If saturated fat content matters to you, then yes, turkey is technically healthier. But is 4 percent really all that much? If you're a calorie counter, perhaps you'd be more inclined to go with beef. This one is a tossup. If you don't want to forsake your beef burger and switch to a turkey imposter, stick with it and don't feel too guilty about it.